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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

The Hon. William Hall-Jones

The Hon. William Hall-Jones, Minister for Public Works and Marine, and Minister in charge of the Government Printing Office, is a native of Kent. Born in Folkstone in 1853, he was educated at English public schools, and served an apprenticeship as a joiner in his native country. Up to the time of his embarking for New Zealand, and for some time after his arrival in the Colony, Mr. Hall-Jones worked at his trade. Landing in 1873 in Port Chalmers he remained for about two years in Dunedin, removing to Timaru in 1875. For six-years-and-a-half Mr. Hall-Jones acted as foreman for Mr. George Filmer, a local builder, and then commenced business on his own behalf, which he continued till the demands of public life necessitated his retirement. His early experiences in politics were gained during about five years as councillor for the Borough of Timaru, and as a member of the Levels Road Board, with which he was connected for some three years. On the death of Mr. Richard Turnbull, Mr. Hall-Jones was elected Member of the House of Representatives for Timaru, at a bye-election in August, 1890. Subsequently he was re-elected for the same constituency, at the General Elections held in December, 1890, November, 1893, and December, 1896, respectively. Mr. Hall-Jones has always supported the Liberal cause, and when the late Hon. J. Ballance came into office, he was appointed colleague to Mr. (now Sir) W. B. Percival, as junior Government whip. On the latter gentleman's leaving to take up the duties of Agent-General in London, Mr. Hall-Jones became senior whip, Mr. W. C. Smith taking the junior position. The honourable gentleman was married in 1876 to a daughter of Mr. H. Purss, of Surrey, England, and has two sons and four daughters.